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why i sometimes want to punch the proverbs 31 woman in the neck until i remember jesus.

we've all heard it.  we've probably all said it ourselves at some point: some variation on, 'i want to be like the proverbs 31 woman.'

and rightly so.  she's awesome.  she's fun.  she's resourceful.  she's ripped.  she's killing it at real estate.

but, without fail, the proverbs 31 woman, in her loftiness and perfection and all around got-it-togetherness, makes us (or me, at least, but probably, us) feel like failures.  who on earth could ever say, 'that proverbs 31 thing?  nailed it.  done-zo.  what's next?'  because she's way better than i am, and if i'm being honest, better than i ever will be.  and because i'm law-bound, and want to be perfect all the time, and successful, and GOOD, it's depressing.

but i don't look at her the way i should.  i am looking at proverbs 31 through a lens of law.  'act good enough.  look good enough.  be good enough.'

but the law is not a weight the christian is meant to carry.  if jesus paid it all, if it was actually finished on the cross like he said, if he came to fulfill the law in his own personhood and death and resurrection, if his power is made perfect in my weakness, then the proverbs 31 woman should make me rejoice - in the midst of, and even because of, my own shortcomings.

jesus opened his arms to the poor - perfectly.
jesus spoke with wisdom and instruction - perfectly.
jesus set about his work vigorously - and perfectly.
jesus got up early and stayed up late to accomplish the task set before him - perfectly.
jesus shepherded his family - perfectly.
jesus feared the lord - perfectly.

even moreso than the proverbs 31 woman, jesus was perfectly strong, perfectly brave, perfectly confident, perfectly provisory, perfectly respectful, perfectly hardworking.  and that record is mine - yours if you are in christ.  it has already been done, in christ.

he takes my record (failure) and gives me his record (perfection) and i DO NOT HAVE TO STRIVE FOR WHAT HAS ALREADY BEEN EARNED FOR ME.  do i understand that?  do you understand that?

jesus was the perfect proverbs 31 woman so that i don't have to be.  i am free to fail and flounder and get it wrong, and then, with the help of the holy spirit, try try again to do it better next time because nothing is riding on my success anymore. 

and you're not required to be the proverbs 31 woman.  if you've been hidden in christ, you already have her record in the eyes of the father.  now you are free to respond to the free gift and grace of god in love and joyfulness - which will result in your sanctification, which, unsurprisingly, will probably make you start to resemble the proverbs 31 woman in her christlikeness.

funny how grace works.

3 comments :

the jersk. said...

yes. yes yes yes.

Heather said...

i struggle with this literally every. single. day.

todd said...

I appreciate, in particular, your observation and proclamation that, “there’s nothing riding on my success anymore.”

That removes a huge weight from my head and heart when I marinate in that.

Matthew 11:28-30

28 “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”